Sarah Torrans offers insights into her hockey career, her experience at the Tokyo Olympics, and her aspirations for the future of hockey in Ireland.
Did you know that 2021 was the first time an Ireland's women's hockey team went to the Olympics?
We were thrilled to have national hockey player, Sarah Torrans, share insight into battling injury, Olympic qualification and her olympic selection 🇮🇪https://t.co/0yyUI7sDAp pic.twitter.com/lishbQpuZR
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) August 10, 2023
Hockey is a fast-paced game with an attacking style, emphasizing quick ball movement on the pitch. Torrans explained that hockey fields have 11 players—10 outfield players and one goalkeeper. It centers around two circular scoring areas, making it a forward's job to support goals or score. The game's tactical nature demands players to be sharp throughout the full 60 minutes. Due to the game's speed, rolling substitutions are used, where players alternate on and off the field. This maintains the game's tempo and intensity.
Growing up, Torrans excelled in athletics and even secured numerous national medals, setting an under-16 200-meter relay Irish record. At the age of 16, she decided to focus on hockey, drawn to the camaraderie and the competitive opportunities it offered.
Leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, Torrans suffered an ankle injury immediately after her selection for the European Championships, which also served as the final Olympic qualification. This setback was an emotional rollercoaster, as she faced the agony of missing her first senior tournament. However, Torrans dedicated herself to rehab, ensuring she'd be ready for Tokyo, and her resilience paid off.
The Irish hockey team faced a challenging pool in Tokyo, competing against powerhouse teams like the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, and others. Torrans commented that while they did not progress beyond the pool stages, the experience was unforgettable. The absence of spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions didn't dampen their excitement. They celebrated every little aspect of the Olympic Village and the fact that the games were able to go ahead at all. Torrans and her teammates proudly embrace their status as trailblazers, serving as an inspiration to the next generation of Irish hockey players.
"It was just incredible to be there and to know that we were the first Irish women's hockey team to be in the Olympics."
"They are on their way!" A dream debut for the @IreWomenHockey sees them beat South Africa 2-0 in their first ever women's Olympic fixture! Goals from Roisin Upton and Sarah Torrans!
🇮🇪 2🇿🇦 0#Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/THSpPbVvg0
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) July 24, 2021
Looking ahead, Torrans and the team are gearing up for the upcoming European Championships in Germany and hoping to secure a spot in the Paris Olympics and to maintain Ireland's presence on the world stage. She aspires to set the standard high, cementing Ireland's position as a force to be reckoned with in international hockey. The Irish women's hockey team's success in recent years has catalyzed a surge of interest in the sport among young girls. Clubs have witnessed an influx of enthusiastic players, and the team's achievements have shifted perceptions about women's sports in Ireland. They are motivated to continue growing the sport's popularity and ensuring it receives the recognition it deserves.
As twice as many girls drop out of sports compared to boys before the age of 14, Torrans emphasizes the importance of girls' involvement in sports. She highlights the camaraderie and friendships that develop in team sports. Hockey has taught her essential life skills, including leadership, organization, and discipline.
As a role model, she encourages young girls to participate in sports, where they can also learn these valuable life lessons. For Torrans, contributing to the legacy of Irish women's hockey is a significant goal. She is highly dedicated to empowering the next generation of hockey players and setting a higher standard for those who will follow in her footsteps.